Meta-analysis defines predominant shared microbial responses in various diseases and a specific inflammatory bowel disease signal

Haya Abbas-Egbariya, Yael Haberman*, Tzipi Braun, Rotem Hadar, Lee Denson, Ohad Gal-Mor, Amnon Amir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gut microbial alteration is implicated in inflammatory bowel disease but is noted in other diseases. Systematic comparison to define similarities and specificities is hampered since most studies focus on a single disease. Results: We develop a pipeline to compare between disease cohorts starting from the raw V4 16S amplicon sequence variants. Including 12,838 subjects, from 59 disease cohorts, we demonstrate a predominant shared signature across diseases, indicating a common bacterial response to different diseases. We show that classifiers trained on one disease cohort predict relatively well other diseases due to this shared signal, and hence, caution should be taken when using such classifiers in real-world scenarios, where diseases are intermixed. Based on this common signature across a large array of diseases, we develop a universal dysbiosis index that successfully differentiates between cases and controls across various diseases and can be used for prioritizing fecal donors and samples with lower disease probability. Finally, we identify a set of IBD-specific bacteria, which can direct mechanistic studies and design of IBD-specific microbial interventions. Conclusions: A robust non-specific general response of the gut microbiome is detected in a large array of diseases. Disease classifiers may confuse between different diseases due to this shared microbial response. Our universal dysbiosis index can be used as a tool to prioritize fecal samples and donors. Finally, the IBD-specific taxa may indicate a more direct association to gut inflammation and disease pathogenesis, and those can be further used as biomarkers and as future targets for interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalGenome Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • 16S amplicon
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gut microbiome
  • Meta-analyses
  • Ulcerative colitis


Dive into the research topics of 'Meta-analysis defines predominant shared microbial responses in various diseases and a specific inflammatory bowel disease signal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this